City of arts: Brussels

Capital of Belgium, with over 1.1 million inhabitants, Brussels is founded in the 10th century and has prospered ever since.

In the 15th century the Burgundian Court settles in Brussels, thus increasing prosperity. The arts flourish when many patricians like to think of themselves as a patron. The upper middle-class too brings in numerous assignments.

A famous Brussels painter is Pieter Bruegel, who comes to Brussels in 1563 and dies there in 1569. Many of his most well-known works are made in Brussels. His residence in the Hoogstraat still exists.

Art & culture

The city is known for its many beautiful examples of art nouveau architecture, among which the Solvay hotel and the Palace of Fine Art by Victor Horta. Iron and steel, rounded forms, and rich ornaments are the main elements. Definitely worth your while is the Great Market (Grote Markt, Grand' Place) with its impressive town hall (1402-1450, Brabant gothic) and many fine baroque fronts, reconstructed after a French attack in 1695.

From an art historical point of view, the following are worth visiting: